While most cars at the SEMA Show can be characterised as chrome-dipped, gold-plated and diamante-encrusted examples of styling gone amok, it's easy to forget that there are still a few show cars hidden in those giant Las Vegas halls that don't provoke strong bouts of nausea.
Islands of common sense and tasteful restraint in a sea of gaudiness and bling, these cars are the most realistic, the most usable and the least objectionable examples of modified autos. Now while we may (occasionally) pour scorn on the jacked-up donks and be-winged Tiburons favoured by so-called "tuners", we give a hearty thumbs up to the more reserved show cars of SEMA.
Volkswagen's Passat CC Eco Performance Concept is one such car. Already beautiful enough in factory form, VW has chosen not to mess too much with the CC's bodywork, instead fitting a new front and rear bumper, sideskirts and a very subtle rear wing. Custom 20-inch aluminium rims round out the rest of the exterior modifications, while the CC's sleek sheetmetal is painted a sumptuous (yet pleasantly understated) shade of pearl grey with some low-key graphics.
It's not all about looks though, for the Passat CC (or just CC, as it's known in the 'States) flaunts more than enough mechanical mumbo to get that bangin' body moving. Under the bonnet lies VW's ubiquitous 2.0-litre TSI engine, which has been gifted with a stage-3 turbo kit and stainless steel exhaust by VW tuners APR. The driver can switch between three different ECU tunes: with the penny-pinching Eco mode producing 166kW, the middling GT mode bumping out 188kW and the chest-thumping (and aptly named) Full Power mode generating an impressive 232kW and 424Nm. Surprisingly enough, VW says all three modes return better fuel economy figures than the stock CC.
Brembo brakes and 355mm floating rotors haul up the CC, while an H&R coil-over suspension kit and 245/30R20 Yokohama rubber gives the shapely saloon sharper handling, acceleration and braking. Unfortunately, the show car is equipped with the standard slushbox and forgoes VW's great 4Motion AWD system. Dang.
While we doubt the standard CC's somewhat older target demographic will ever venture down this path of modification, it's comforting to know that modified cars and good taste can still exist in perfect harmony. Nice work VW.
2008 SEMA: VOLKSWAGEN CC ECO PERFORMANCE CONCEPT
311 HP Super CC ups the performance ante in luxury for the people
LAS VEGAS â€“ Powerful performance meets luxury in the Super CC performance concept Volkswagen unveiled at the 2008 SEMA show in Las Vegas.
The Performance CC brings a sleek exterior treatment highlighted by black chrome exterior accents, grey pearl paint with custom front and rear bumper, side panels and machined aluminum spoiler. The black treatment continues inside with high-gloss piano black accents offset by matte black graphics. Customer black leather Recaro seats and matching floor mats are highlighted with white piping.
While the Performance CC looks striking, the upgrades will get hearts racing, the 2.0L TSI engine has been upgraded with an APR stage 3 turbocharger system with three performance levels. In Full Power mode the Performance CC brings 311 hp and 313 lbs. ft. torque; GT mode offers 252 hp and 268 lbs. ft. of torque; and in the Eco mode 222 hp and 236 lbs. ft. of torque. Also included is the APR stainless steel performance exhaust system. Key fact to take note of is that in the Eco performance mode, horsepower went up, as well as fuel economy. A production 2.0T CC automatic gets 28 hwy/19 city and our CC in Eco mode gets 33 hwy, 27 city. Even the full power mode showed a fuel economy increase!
The Performance CC sits on custom designed 10-spoke, 20-inch wheels and high performance 245/30 R20 Yokahama tires with an H&R street coil over sport suspension kit. With all this power to handle, Volkswagen has upgraded the brakes to provide extra power to stop. The Performance CC features 14-inch Brembo brakes with 4-piston Aluminum Alloy Brake Calipers and 355x32mm 2-Piece Floating Cross Drilled Discs with Billet Aluminum Hats.
The Performance CC was designed by the Volkswagen Design Center in California with assistance from APR, LLC (www.goapr.com), Recaro, H&R Suspension and Brembo North America.